Education Letter: Paymaster Heads

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I agree wholeheartedly with your leader (22 October) on Tony Blair's remarks about conservative teachers.

As an ex-teacher I support, in principle, a national curriculum, regular assessments, time for literacy and numeracy - even Ofsted. With all that it's difficult for a teacher to belong to the "forces of conservatism".

However, the pendulum has swung too far away from the child-centred theories of the Sixties and towards the Gradgrinds.

Performance-related pay awarded on league table results is meaningless - even if you use a value-added system.

Good heads know who are effective teachers, able administrators, keep order round the school, run out-of-school activities and have a beneficial influence on children. So let all discretionary pay awards be granted by heads.